Mickey Gilley: Seasoned to Perfection

Tickets For Mickey Gilley in Cedartown for the Polk County Sports Walk of Fame are now on sale.


Originally published by:
Roxane Atwood from Sports and Entertainment: Nashville

Have you ever heard the saying “the older the violin the sweeter the music?” Well, 17-time no. 1 hit-maker Mickey Gilley is that violin!

Ordinarily I wouldn’t mention someone’s age in a story,“How old are you?” is one of those don’t-go-there questions, but Gilley himself, with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin, confides to his audiences nightly that in March he will be 80 years old! And why shouldn’t he share that personal piece of information?

In an industry that chews talent up for breakfast and spits them out before dinner, Mickey Gilley is a seven decade survivor – and not just a survivor – he continues to be a leader, innovator, and is still one of the BEST entertainers I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of Mickey Gilley). I’ve been a Gilley fan long before America two-stepped her way across his dance floor during the “Urban Cowboy” era.

Although I’ve called Nashville home for 32 years, I grew up in a country music loving home in Louisiana where those three cousins raised in Ferriday – Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley – were household names.

My daddy worked for DuPont, and in the 1970s, he was sent to “start up” a new plant in La Porte, Texas B.U.C. (Before Urban Cowboy). Once there, he discovered this cavernous nightclub down the road in Pasadena that played country music—a honky-tonk on steroids. That club was called Gilley’s, co-owned by none other than his Louisiana brethren Mickey Gilley.

At that time, Gilley was riding high on his first No. 1 hit “Room Full of Roses,” and every time I visited my daddy in Texas, I’d accompany him and a group of DuPont shift workers to Gilley’s. I loved it! Gilley sang while I learned to dance the Texas two step, three step and waltz; I danced them all. I even rode the mechanical bull at Gilley’s, not with the same finesse as Debra Winger, but by golly I rode it before Winger even knew what a mechanical bull was – and I received just as many cat calls in the process.

When the movie “Urban Cowboy” did invade theaters in 1980, Gilley already had eight No. 1 hits under his belt including “Window Up Above” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.” But with the movie’s release, Gilley’s exploded with popularity and propelled the singer’s career into the stratosphere. Overnight, America embraced the cowboy way, and Gilley became the face of this Wrangler wearin’, cowboy hat tippin’, truck drivin’, country music lovin’ phenomenon.

Five years later, as an entertainment reporter for “The Nashville Network,” I found myself covering a country music themed cruise on “The Norway” (Tough job…I know.) This cruise was among the first of its kind and headlining the voyage were Gilley and Dottie West. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

I interviewed Gilley for the TNN show, “Wrap Around Nashville,” and we participated in a shipboard dance lesson. As the cameras began to roll, the music ironically changed to “Stand By Me” and there I was, polishing belt buckles in the middle of the dance floor with an ACM Entertainer of The Year winner. This time he wasn’t singing to U.S. presidents, Gilley was singing his No. 1 hit softly into MY ear as we slowly sashayed ’round the dance floor in the dim light – and that was the exact moment in time that I truly understood the meaning of the word “swoon,” because I forgot about the cameras and the 200 other people dancing around us. I only had three thoughts swirling in my head:

I hope this song goes on forever
I should send TNN a thank you note for this assignment
Knees, don’t you buckle now!
Today, Gilley is still making the ladies swoon. About to complete his 80th trip around the sun, he hasn’t lost his dashing good looks and his blue eyes still twinkle with a mischievous love for life. On stage, Gilley exudes a charisma that embodies equal parts cocky swagger and an awe-shucks-thank-you-ma’am charm. The women love him and the men want to be him.

For the past 26 years, Gilley set up shop in music mecca Branson, Missouri and allowed the fans to come to him at his beautiful Mickey Gilley Theatre. My parents were two of those faithful fans that made that Missouri pilgrimage annually. They’d see different shows in Branson each year, but the one and only show that they saw every year was Gilley’s – and he was packing them in.

But Branson wasn’t entirely a room full of roses for Gilley. In 2009 while helping a friend move a sofa, Gilley fell. For three months, that fall left him paralyzed from the neck down. But like the champion he is, 10 months later, Gilley fought his way back to his feet and on to the stage he loves.

Ready for a change, Gilley said goodbye to Branson last month, but in doing so, he’s saying hello to the world. Gilley is hitting the road again! I caught Gilley’s show a couple of months ago in Franklin, Tennessee. The concert is a musical journey of Gilley’s career laced with humor and stories, centered around a big screen backdrop that showcases Gilley’s memorable times through short video clips. And while the accident from seven years ago still prevents him from playing his trademark piano, it hasn’t stopped him from performing a high energy show – singing hit after hit as the crowd spontaneously sings along; after all, you can’t help but sing along to the soundtrack of your life.

Now at a stage in life when most people would welcome an earned rest, there’s no resting on any laurels for Gilley. Always the entrepreneur, Gilley has a new beer available in Texas supermarkets, Gilley’s Texas Blonde Ale. On his website you can even buy his Wild Bull Chili Seasoning Mix or bar-b-que rubs, along with T-shirts and music soon that will include his “Definitive Hits Collection” —a 39 song, two CD set on Real Gone Music, available on March 11th. And though the original Gilley’s in Pasadena, Texas burned to the ground in 1990, there are other Gilley’s clubs in Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.

The biggest news of all was announced on Mickey’s Facebook page recently. The city council in La Porte just gave their approval to begin construction on a new Gilley’s that will rival his original club in Pasadena in size, flavor and feel. The doors should swing open in the next 18 to 24 months.

Always one to understand the importance of the entertainer and fan relationship, Gilley has embraced social media. He checks his Facebook page daily and talks to his fans via short video clips, which is why he calls it “Mickey Gilley’s Personal Update Page.” Gilley doesn’t rely on others to share his news, he shares his own, and promotes upcoming concerts and simply talks to his fans. His hands-on approach has earned him nearly 200,000 followers. Gilley always did know how to draw a crowd…and how to keep one.

At the end of each concert, Gilley still takes the time to visit with the people who put him on the map and keep him there. It doesn’t matter if it takes him three hours after the show, Gilley doesn’t go home until the last autograph is signed and the last picture taken. When I saw his show at The Franklin Theatre recently, I waited in line for a picture too, remember, I’m still a forever fan, secretly hoping for one more dance. I’m so thankful that in this world of constant change, Mickey Gilley is still the hit of the party!

Check out his website for upcoming dates, and if Gilley takes his show anywhere near you this year, do yourself a favor and go!

Article Source:

Mickey Gilley: Seasoned to Perfection

Roxane Atwood

‘Alice in Nightmareland’ hits the stage with local cast and crew

Cedartown, Ga — Sept. 22, 2014: Cedartown residents have the chance next month to be tricked and treated to an original theatrical production written, directed and starring hometown folks.

A cast of more than 60 local actors and actresses will perform “Alice in Nightmareland” on Saturday, Oct. 18. Showtimes are 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission.

Described as an Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-Tim-Burton performance, the show director, Roland Chandler, describes it as a family event. “It’s kind of a creepy but fun show with lots of laughter. Definitely a family-friendly show. It’s not like a gory spook house, it’s a great plot with great actors.”

Chandler, along with local residents Branson Lewis, Michael Carter and Kate Saxton, wrote the show’s script. “It’s a trip that Alice takes through being a victim of bullying in her life, and in the end, she triumphs. All of the characters in her “real life” take on distorted characters as she journeys through her nightmare. You’ll recognize Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb, but we’ve added on with a new character named Tweedle-Dumber. The Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and the Caterpillar will all make an appearance,” Chandler explained. Audience interaction will be part of the two-hour show as well. Volunteers, making the production a true-community, are designing all costumes and sets.

Cast members include: Alex Orebaugh, Alexis Ayers, Aubrey Brock, Bailey Sanders, Brevin Barnes, Brisa Guzman, Carlie Brock, Catlyn Scott, Chloe Tibbetts, Christian Williams, Colleetoe Sanders, DJ Conner,

Ethan Golover, Ezekiel Smith, Gabbrielle Wood-ard, Gary Smith, Gracee Privett, Graci McElwee, Gracie Chandler, Haley Baker, Haley Forrister, Harley Chandler, Harlie Garner, Harly Witt, Harmony Shaw, Havan Garner, Henslee Forrister, Jackson Pierce, John Govern, Jolie Cole, Jonathon Owens,

Jordan Woods, Julianna Robinson, Julieann Andrews, Kaliegh Gates, Kate Saxton, Kelly Gates, Kennedy Owens, Kensley Williamson, Kylee Puc-kett, Lindsey Gaylor, Maddie Jefferson, Mary Claypool,

Matt Kelly, McCall Pirkle, Michael Carter, Minnes Smith, Miriam Stephens, Monie Witt, Nytie Govern, Oscar Guzman, Sam Pinson, Savannah Shaw, Seth Wright, Shelbie Witt, Shelby Padgett, Stacey Smith, Suzanne Blanchard, Teena Marie Knight, Tim Wyatt, Trish Parish and Walker.

Ticket information can be obtained by calling 770-748-3220.

Cedartown Theatrical Performer’s Company holding auditions for ‘Beauty and the Beast’


Cedartown, Ga. – June 17, 2014: Happy Birthday, Cedartown Theatrical Performer’s Company!

The Cedartown Theatrical Performer’s Company is turning 10 this year. To celebrate, they’ve brought back a classic production that is sure to bring down the house.

In honor of their 10th anniversary, CTPC is having an open casting call for their summer revival production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Auditions will be held on Friday, June 20, and Saturday, June 21, at the Cedartown Civic Auditorium from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Come prepared to sing 16 bars of a song from the musical theatre repertoire (you may also sing from the show’s score), and be prepared to learn a short dance break.

They need a lot of cast members and a lot of singers, so if you consider yourself a great singer they want YOU to come out and audition. Even if you don’t want to be on stage, they can still use you in the ensemble off stage — so come audition anyway!

So just to recap:

Auditions: Friday, June 20 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Saturday, June 21 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Where: Cedartown Civic Auditorium
205 East Avenue
Cedartown, Ga. 30125

Character Breakdown

BABETTE A saucy, enchanted feather-­‐duster, and the object of Lumiere’s affections. She is the playful, gorgeous, seductive French maid.
Female role

BEAST A Prince transformed into a terrifying beast for his lack of

compassion. He is hot-­‐tempered and commanding, but has a warm, loving heart buried far beneath his gruff exterior.
Male role

BELLE A vibrant, intelligent girl with beauty, who wants more out of the life than an ordinary existence. She is optimistic, fun-­‐loving, caring, and eager to experience life.
Female role

CHIP An enchanted teacup and Mrs. Potts’ darling little boy. He is innocent, playful, and bright-­‐eyed.
Male or Female role

COGSWORTH A tightly-­‐wound, enchanted mantle clock and the head of the Beast’s household. He is uptight, strict, and punctual but also hard-­‐ working, faithful, and thorough.
Male role

GASTON The egotistical, ultra-­‐masculine villain determined to marry
Belle. He is manipulative yet charming and earnest.
Male role

LEFOU Gaston’s bumbling sidekick. He is loyal, energetic, and optimistic, but not quite the brightest guy.
Male role

LUMIERE A suave, debonair enchanted candelabra. He is a loyal and steadfast servant.
Male role

MADAME DE LA GRANDE BOUCHE A former opera diva-­‐turned-­‐ enchanted wardrobe. She has a caring, refined, larger than life personality.
Female role

MAURICE Belle’s loving, eccentric father. A child at heart and inventor in his own world.
Male role

MONSIEUR D’ARQUE The scheming proprietor of the local insane asylum. He is a dark, sinister villain who aides Gaston in his plot to marry Belle.
Male role

MRS. POTTS A warm-­‐hearted, maternal enchanted teapot. She is loyal, caring, and playful.
Female role


Community theatre production ready to s-p-e-l-l out the laughs

Cedartown, Ga. – June 6, 2014: The stage at the Cedartown Civic Auditorium will be filled with the sound of laughter on June 27 and 28, as a group of local residents perform “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” As a Cedartown community theatre-based production, local director Chris Reaves isn’t being dramatic when he says that support for the upcoming event has been phenomenal.

“We had auditions back in May and the quality of actors that showed up was absolutely amazing. You never know what kind of talent you will get when you open the doors to a community audition and I was so impressed with the level of skill,” Reaves said.

A cast of 25 Cedartown residents, including adults, college students and teenagers, will present this show centered on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never hear the soul crushing, pout inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake.

Cast members include: Mary Kathryn Seabolt, Mary Paige Gray, Ella Peek, Caroline Gammage, Josh Baldwin, Mia Harris, Abby Bentley, Jessi McElwee, Miriam Stephens, Lee Lundy, Tanner Mehrkens, Chase Brooks, Merissa Boling, Juliann Andrews, Kate Saxton, Anna Lundy, Joy Myers, Shelbie Witt, Roland Chandler, Stacy Govern, Nytie Govern, John Govern, D.J. Connor and J.W. Perry.

“This is really a great show, there will be lots of laughter and we know everyone will enjoy it,” Reaves said. “We would love to see the auditorium full of residents that number one, want to be entertained by great actors, and number two, want to show support for community theatre.”

Showtimes are Friday, June 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 cash only and are available for early purchase at Cedartown City Hall beginning Wednesday, June 11, at 201 East Avenue in Cedartown and at the door on show nights.

Hello world — please bear with us as we construct a new website!

If you couldn’t already tell by the lackluster design of the current page, we are in the process of designing a whole new look for the Cedartown Civic Auditorium website. This is just a temporary page — a spectacular one is being created this very second! In the meantime, if you don’t mind, take a spin on over to our Facebook page. That’s the place where you can get information on the most current happenings at the auditorium.